By Nathan Ham
Democrats now hold every spot on the Watauga County Board of Commissioners after incumbents John Welch and Charlie Wallin as well as newcomer Carrington Pertalion were sworn in at the board’s most recent meeting on Monday, December 7.
Welch ran unopposed to secure another term on the board while Charlie Wallin defeated Bart Keller, 53.4 percent to 46.6 percent. Pertalion defeated Todd S. Castle, 52.3 percent to 47.7 percent to take the seat vacated by Republican Perry Yates, who chose to not seek re-election.
Welch was re-appointed as the board’s chairman and Billy Kennedy was reappointed as the board’s vice-chairman.
Yates served eight years on the board of commissioners and has also volunteered his time serving on other boards and committees, including the Watauga County Economic Development Commission, Watauga County Fire Commission, EMS Advisory Committee, Appalachian District Healthcare Board, Project on Aging Committee and the Cooperative Extension Advisory Leadership Board.